Remains from the time of the first temple discovered
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On Jerusalem promenade
During excavations in the south of Jerusalem, archaeologists find several well-preserved capitals from the time of the kings of Judah. Why two of the pillar ends were neatly buried, researchers spoke of an “exciting discovery”.
JERUSALEM (inn) – Archaeologists have found several capitals from the time of the First Temple in Jerusalem. The researchers assume that they belonged to a palace. The owner must have had a “breathtaking view” of the city of David with the temple.
The capitals and other artifacts were discovered during excavations prior to the construction of a visitor center along Jerusalem’s Armon HaNatziv Promenade south of the Old City. As the Jerusalem district manager of the antiquities authority, Jakob Billig, announced, the area was marked by destruction. But two of the three capitals would have been neatly buried, stacked one on top of the other in the earth. They are extremely well preserved. The researcher spoke of an “exciting discovery”. Archaeologists are still puzzling over why and by whom the capitals were buried.
According to Billig, the pillars could have belonged to a royal estate: “The location and the style of the palace suggest that it was not just about rich people, but about very rich and very influential people.”
FOUND FROM THE TIME OF THE BIBLICAL KINGS
The archaeologists date the finds to the time between the biblical kings Hezekiah and Josiah. According to initial findings, they assume that the limestone capitals date from 600 and 700 BC. Possibly the palace was built after the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem ended. The residents began to expand the city and build outside the city walls at that time. It is believed that the property was destroyed when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem in 586 BC.
The decoration on the capitals is already familiar to the Israelis: in memory of the time of the first Jewish temple, it adorns the five shekel coin of the modern state. Some scientists see a stylized palm in the symbol. It is typical of artifacts from the time of the Kingdom of Judah. Capitals with a similar decor have already been discovered in the Ramat Rahel district of Jerusalem, where a palace of the kings of Judah was found. According to Billig, most of the capitals discovered so far from this period have only been decorated on one side. However, the pillars that have now been discovered are decorated at the front and back.
As reported by the daily “Ha’aretz”, the capitals were discovered in November. They were presented to the public for the first time on Thursday.